...a standard rhetorical move which has no accepted name, but which really needs one. I call it ‘the two-step of terrific triviality’. Say something that is ambiguous between something so strong it is absurd and so weak that it would be absurd even to mention it. When attacked, hop from foot to foot as necessary, keeping a serious expression on your face. With luck, you will be able to generate the mistaken impression that you haven’t been knocked flat, by rights. As a result, the thing that you said which was absurdly strong will appear to have some obscure grain of truth in it. Even though you have provided no reason to think so.
-- John Holbo
c.f. Dennett's coinage "deepity", which is, I think, a close cousin of the two-step (but not a subcategory? Have to muse on this more.)
* Not quite le mot juste. It's not an idea, it's an act of naming, which in this case (as in many but not all) includes an act of recognition. title="Not quite le mot juste. It's not an idea, it's an act of naming, which in this case (as in many but not all) includes an act of recognition."